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#01-31-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Board of Fish Begins Today
Posted: January 31, 2014 at 7:02 am
The Board of Fisheries begin their meeting in Anchorage today, considering 236 proposals on Upper Cook Inlet issues. Uniquely, the City of Soldotna authored a proposal this year, to close portions of the Centennial campgrounds to fishermen from July 1 through August 30 of each year. Parks and Rec Director Andrew Carmichael explains...

Federal pink salmon forecast nearly 30 million for Southeast
by Joe Viechnicki
January 30, 2014 10:55 am
Federal scientists are predicting a catch of nearly 30 million pink salmon in Southeast Alaska this summer. That’s a little better than the forecast put out last fall by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for a catch of 22 million humpies. But its still not even one third of the record setting catch of 2013....

The Democracy of Salmon
David Lynn Grimes
January 30, 2014
Oh, those bright silver jewels with their incomparable red flesh! How magnificently they stitch together land and sea. Every season with their spawning runs salmon bring forth a brilliant feast of democracy, an offering relished by the whale people, by the seal and sea lion people, by the raven, eagle, bear and wolf people, and yes, relished by those of us in our temporary assignment as the human people. Alaska remains the last bastion on earth for healthy wild salmon runs. The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay is a great test of this democracy of salmon. Will the Last Frontier, world-renowned for its wildlife and wild way of life, remain a remarkable remnant of Eden in a sometimes world of woe -- or be sacrificed as another resource colony on the altar of corporate plunder? This is a big...

Opposition to Pebble Mine rises from Washington state
By Zachariah Bryan
Drums Editor
For opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, the calvary has arrived, and it comes from Alaska's little brother to the south, Washington state. Enter a perhaps unlikely duo: Washington State Sen. Maria Cantwell and Seattle restauranter Tom Douglas. Alongside Seattle environmentalists and fishermen, their opposition was on full display at rally at Fishermen's Terminal, a headquarters of sorts for Alaska fishermen during the offseason. The rally was...

OP/ED | 1/31/2014
Did An EPA Report Just Kill 30,000 Jobs?
Conservatives looking to affirm the old adage that regulatory uncertainty kills jobs have new evidence: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 10 Bristol Bay, Alaska Mining Assessment. So powerful is the EPA that an obscure report can threaten 30,000 jobs and a billion dollar mining project.
The Bristol Bay Assessment
Released last week, the Bristol Bay Assessment pours cold water on the prospective Alaskan Pebble Mine, a uniquely large deposit of copper and gold valued at $30 billion. In order to develop the world’s largest untouched copper cache, the Pebble Mine’s prospectors need to apply for and receive numerous....

Yukon Salmon Fishery
Letter to the Editor
By Bill Larry
Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee
Yukon River chinook salmon and the people who depend on them are in desperate need of help. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has failed to meet chinook salmon escapement goals for the Yukon River several times in the last 14 years. ADF&G solution has been to reduce fishing time and even implement complete shutdowns of chinook salmon fisheries. This has caused hardship for the people along the Yukon River that depend on these fish for subsistence and badly needed income. The 2014 Yukon chinook salmon return is expected to be as poor or even worse compared to 2012 and 2013. ADF&G does not know why the returns are so poor. They are....

Seward Ship's Drydock considers offer
January 30, 2014
Seward Ship's Drydock Inc, which leases land from the City of Seward at Seward Marine Industrial Center, and manages the shipyard facility is considering an offer by another company to purchase the shipyard, but to date nothing has been finalized and there is no signed agreement, said Jim Pruitt, the shipyard owner. He denied rumors that the shipyard had already been sold to another company. Without naming the company they have been talking with, Pruitt said it was just one of several interested parties that have approached him over the 40 years since he....

The Alaska Fisheries Report
Jan 30,2014
Coming up this week: Walmart commits to Alaska salmon, Is trophy sportfishing responsible for the decline in abundance and size of Kenai River King Salm?, and don’t let Facebook scare your friends away from Alaska seafood. All that, and the coolest red king crab you'll ever see. We had....

Strong US dollar = more expensive for AK seafood exports; cheaper for imports
January 30, 2014 by Laine Welch
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – How a strong US dollar affects Alaska seafood sales. More after this...

President declares disaster for southwest Alaska
On The Y-K Delta
January 30, 2014
The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of Nov. 5-14. Federal funding also is available to state and....

Unalaska Copes With Shell’s Decision Not To Drill
By Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB - Unalaska | January 30, 2014
At least one Alaska community was banking on Shell’s presence – and business – this summer....

MSRC, Alaska Maritime working together on nontank vessel regs
HOUSTON, Jan. 30
By Paula Dittrick
OGJ Special Correspondent
Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) and Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network announced a strategic alliance to support industry’s efforts to meet federal regulations for nontank vessels and to enhance oil spill response efforts in western Alaska and Prince William Sound. In a Jan. 29 statement from Anchorage, the Alaska network said it will join...

Begich demands answers to Postal Service problems statewide
Alex DeMarban
January 30, 2014
Increased shipping costs and “troubling” delays due to staff shortages at post offices across the state have Alaskans irked by long lines, missing Christmas gifts, and groceries that arrive rotten and unsafe to eat, according to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, who is demanding an immediate meeting with the nation’s postmaster general to get some answers. In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Begich says he’s “alarmed” by the “sudden and persistent volume of complaints” his office has received from across the state related to postal delivery. Begich notes that some Alaskans have recently been told that parcel post service is no longer available and their only option is shipping by priority mail. “If this change has in fact been made....

January 31, 2014
Our View: One fish, two fish … way too many fake fish
Gloucester Daily Times
Your dinner has arrived, a nice piece of fish, delicately cooked, served perhaps over a bed of rice or, wow, maybe quinoa. Was it wild salmon you ordered? Would you be surprised and disappointed to learn that you got coho instead? As the nonprofit organization Oceana has put it: “Recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 percent to 70 percent of the time for fish like red snapper, wild salmon, and Atlantic....

Changing the way we eat
Part of a POLITICO Pro Special Report series on the Obama administration’s executive action and regulatory agenda.
The Obama administration is moving ahead to make its mark on the American food system. While Congress idles on food policy — even the farm bill was a struggle — the Food and Drug Administration is looking to ban trans fat, mandate calorie labels at chain restaurants and vending machines and is poised to revamp Nutrition Facts labels for the first time in 20 years. These changes will affect just about every consumer in the country — and they are just the beginning. The administration is also working on implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, a law widely hailed as the biggest update to food safety since FDR was in office, while rolling out the first nutrition standards for all food sold in public schools, crafting voluntary sodium limits and....

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